Talent Acquisition Across Healthcare Remains on the Rise

Talent Acquisition Across Healthcare Remains on the Rise

Many market segments enjoy unprecedented job growth, but none more than the healthcare sector. In the fall of 2023, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released an updated national hiring forecast. The BLS found that the healthcare and social assistance sector will add around 2.1 million jobs by 2032. That’s the most of any sector and an incredible 45 percent of all new jobs.

With an annual growth rate of 1 percent, the sector is also projected to grow faster than any other. It’s an excellent time for skilled healthcare workers to look for a job. But on the flip side of that coin are the hiring managers and recruiters who must fill all those new positions. Shortly before the BLS announcement, PwC released survey results showing that 82% of healthcare executives say talent acquisition is the biggest risk to their organizations.

What Makes Healthcare Recruiting Challenging

The executives feel that way because there are some unique challenges for hiring in this market. The rising demand only complicates matters while increasing the competition for top talent. But how did things get this way?

Multiple factors led to this moment in healthcare recruitment. At the top of the list are the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This extraordinary circumstance increased the need for skilled healthcare professionals (particularly those experienced in critical care and disease management). The pandemic also brought significant workforce disruptions, with high levels of burnout causing higher-than-normal attrition rates.

Beyond the pandemic, the healthcare sector has also been in a long-term period of evolution. Rapid technological advances and modernized practices led to more evolved and detailed skill requirements. More than ever, ideal candidates must possess digital literacy and understand how data analytics drives healthcare. In addition, many roles now require specialized training or degrees that few recruits have.

The workforce’s shifting priorities also play a factor. Many industries now promote flexibility and employee well-being as recruitment tools. Work-life balance is more important than ever, but the healthcare industry can suffer from a reputation for high stress and burnout rates. Healthcare executives must find the right balance of flexible scheduling, mental health resources, wellness programs, and other benefits to attract top talent.

The Complexity of Recruiting Multiple Healthcare Industries

Healthcare recruiting can also be complex, thanks to the highly specialized nature of many of the jobs within the sector. A recruiter at a hospital may find themselves looking for talent in several industries that fall under the healthcare sector. 

The BLS acknowledges this in its report, noting that four of the ten fastest-growing industries are in the healthcare sector. In particular, the individual and family services industry is projected to grow the fastest out of those four. The annual growth rate is exceptionally high in the industry at 2.2 percent or more than double the rate of the entire healthcare sector. The BLS report attributes this growth to both an aging population and a higher prevalence of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic conditions.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) also notes a troubling shortage of doctors. In a detailed study titled The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections From 2019 to 2034, the AAMC projects a shortage by 2034 that could reach as high as 124,000 physicians. This also creates increased demand for nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Alongside the projected doctor shortage is the current nursing shortage. The National Institute of Health’s National Library of Medicine studied this shortage and found high turnover rates, inequitable workforce distribution, and a lack of educators for future nurses plaguing the industry.

An Executive Search Firm Helps Find Healthcare Talent

Recruiting for such varied roles, each requiring high levels of expertise and specialized knowledge, can quickly become overwhelming. Given the high costs of replacing a bad hire, a lot is on the line with each job posting. Healthcare organizations are finding all the help they can get, with executive search firms leading the way.

MRINetwork is a leading global executive search firm with experience across all industries. We understand the unique demands of healthcare recruiting, as we have helped partners in industries as diverse as biotechnology, clinical research, pharmaceuticals, medical supply, healthcare insurance, and more.

We combine our industry knowledge with data-driven market insights to understand each team’s needs. In the healthcare sector, we know the goals and challenges around all the roles you are trying to fill. The talent network we cultivated worldwide helps deliver the best fit for any highly specialized role. At MRINetwork, we can find long-term, skilled talent for every level and facet of your healthcare organization. From executives to physicians and more niche roles, MRINetwork is here to help with every search your company faces, now and in the future. Find an MRINetwork office today to help meet your staffing needs and reach your goals.